Yet I had rather special guests to my woods in the afternoon last Saturday. David Ballantyne’s son and daughter who would particularly like to see their father’s kickwheel. Steve is an architect lives in Tring and Candy is a furniture designer works in London. Both must have inherited their father’s talent. I found that their talk and questions were forcused and very precise not only about the kickwheel but also on my Anagama ‘Moby’. Later in that afternoon, I took them to Murray Fieldhouse (he’s 90 now) who personally knew more about their father well. It seemed they found something they didn’t know previously.
I have been living and working in Tring for almost 2 decades, after leaving Highgate in London for my wood-fire pottery. I didn’t know David Ballantyne’s son was living in the same town for 15 years and also worked as the governor of Grove Road Primary school in Tring for 10 years.
His family is currently planning to launch a new website for late father (1913~1990) and that’s why Steve found me and contacted through this blog. I will let all you know the new website on David Ballantyne when it is officially launched. What a coincidence!?!
Steve told me that he has never seen a brass turntableI on father’s wheel as usually they were made of alluminum and my wheel could be one of the earliest models. And I also learnt that many potters used to call Ballantyne’s wheel ‘the Rolls-Royce of the kickwheels’ in the 50’s and 60’s and Michael Cardew took one to Africa when he was working in Nigeria.
[I would like to thank James Hazlewood for taking those lovely photos of my wheel last summer]